Biological scaling of Anthurium andraeanum 'Tropical' and 'Pistache': finding secrets of nature to improve floral quality

T.M.R.S. Perera, C.K. Beneragama, B.L.H.N. Balasooriya, K.M.P. Kulasekara
Size related allometric patterns reflect plant priorities in allocating resources to different plant structures. This study attempted to investigate a) allometric relationships of Anthurium cultivars ‘Tropical’ and ‘Pistache’ based on the corollary derived by the Corner’s rule, whether leaf and inflorescence sizes are allometrically related, and b) allocation and plasticity nature of studied Anthurium cultivars under different shade levels. Size related measurements were collected from 20 small scale Anthurium farms in the Kandy District, Sri Lanka. Leaf and floral parameters were measured in 10 representative Anthurium plants at each farm. Shade levels of the sites ranged from 69 to 94%. The measured data were log transformed and allometric patterns were tested using least squares regression and correlation analysis. The study revealed that, there are simple allometric patterns among leaf and spathe characteristics of both Anthurium cultivars which are mostly linear. Plant allocation under different shade levels was also allometric in these cultivars as the appendage sizes changed in response to the shade keeping the spathe sizes proportionate to the leaf sizes. The ratio of pedicel length/petiole length of ‘Tropical’ and ‘Pistache’ were 1.27 and 1.45 irrespective of the shade environment. Long pedicels of Anthurium may be a natural adaptation to display the attractive spathe extending above the foliage canopy to facilitate cross pollination by insects. However, the inflorescence (spadix) length of both cultivars neither followed allometry with leaf sizes (isometric) nor varying allocation under shade heterogeneity. Allocation patterns of leaves and spathe across variable shade obeyed a polynomial pattern fitting to a quadratic model with maxima around 83-86% shade level in both cultivars displaying the plasticity nature of the cultivars. These simple allometric relationships can be used to adjust the shade levels in combination with other agronomic practices to get better sized flowers.
Perera, T.M.R.S., Beneragama, C.K., Balasooriya, B.L.H.N. and Kulasekara, K.M.P. (2020). Biological scaling of Anthurium andraeanum 'Tropical' and 'Pistache': finding secrets of nature to improve floral quality. Acta Hortic. 1278, 235-242
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.34
allometry, plasticity, allocation, spathe, shade continuum

Acta Horticulturae